Take heart, Stanlib investors, someone’s come to fix it

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Take heart, Stanlib investors, someone’s come to fix it

Heavy hitter from the UK parachuted in to pull the Liberty-owned asset manager out of the mire

Hanna Ziady

Stanlib is serious about its turnaround. So serious, that the Liberty-owned asset manager has bagged top international talent – Briton, Mark Lovett – to make it happen. Lovett, Stanlib’s new chief investment officer, is a heavy-hitter. His most recent post was as head of equities at an asset manager with R5-trillion in assets.He also likes a challenge, which is why he has opted to take on the role of investment chief at an asset manager where earnings and investment performance have gone backwards. Mind you, perhaps a R600bn-in-assets fund manager is not as daunting a prospect as his previous employer, where he was also involved in a turnaround.
Still, Lovett faces no mean feat. Stanlib’s plight is made worse by the fact that its parent, Liberty, has also had a torrid few years, with earnings halving between 2015 and 2017.
Analysts and investors will be searching for clues of a David Munro-driven turnaround when the insurance group posts interim results on Thursday. Munro, who headed Standard Bank’s corporate and investment banking unit, was parachuted in by the banking group (Liberty’s majority shareholder) in June last year to right the ship. While Munro has said real performance can be expected only in 2019/2020, the pressure will still be on Lovett.
No wonder Munro and Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala both interviewed him. Evidently, they think he is up for the challenge.

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